How Women's Employment and Related Gender Differentials Vary by Education: Common Patterns across Affluent Nations

Paula S. England, Stanford University
Emily F. Shafer, Stanford University

Using LIS data on 13 affluent nations, we show a common pattern across nations that better educated women are more likely to be employed. Largely because of this pattern, gender inequality in median annual earnings (when the nonemployed enter as 0) is less extreme among the well educated than those with less education. Gender inequality in earnings among those employed full-time differs little by education, however. These patterns hold across nations. However, where women's employment differs the most across nations is at lower educational levels (college graduates have almost uniformly high levels in each nation), suggesting that policies may be most important at the bottom. Finally, we speculate about the theoretical implications of these findings in a context of marital homogamy.

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Presented in Session 132: Gender and Work